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by Nduta Waweru, at 06:00 am, December 14, 2018, Money Moves

Black-owned beauty business acquired by top consumer giant, P&G

Tristan Walker, Founder & CEO of Walker & Company Brands. Photo: Walker Company Brands/Twitter

One of America’s black-owned business has been acquired by Proctor and Gamble in an undisclosed deal that would see it expand its consumer base.

Proctor and Gamble announced that Walker & Company, started in 2013, will operate as a separate and wholly-owned subsidiary of the company under CEO and founder Tristan Walker. 

“When I started Walker & Company Brands, I set out to build a company that would meet the health and beauty needs of people of colour on a global scale. Having access to P&G’s outstanding technology, capabilities and expertise help us to further realize that vision, giving us the power to scale and bring new products to people of colour, while staying true to our mission and continuing to nurture the loyal community we’ve worked hard to build,” Walker said.

The company is known for its products, specifically produced for people of colour, including Bevel and Form designed for men and women respectively. 

P&G expressed their excitement in working with Walker. 

“We have tremendous respect for the work Tristan Walker has accomplished and we are excited to welcome Walker & Company to the P&G family. The combination of Walker & Company’s deep consumer understanding, authentic connection to its community and unique, highly customized products and P&G’s highly-skilled and experienced people, resources, technical capabilities and global scale will allow us to further improve the lives of the world’s multicultural consumers,” said Alex Keith, CEO of P&G Beauty. 

Walker has been considered one of the most visible African-American in tech and Silicon Valley. He had made waves as the head of business development at Foursquare, which he joined in 2009 and left three years later. 

In 2013, he set up Walker and Company with the aim of being the “Procter and Gamble for people of colour.”

“[My] company really started out of my frustrations of not having products that I could use,” he said.

The company’s first product is Bevel, a blade to help black men avoid bumps and skin irritation when they shave.  Soon after he would include the Bevel trimmer and in the same year, he would catch the eye of Target, which then sold the products in its stores. In 2017, he included Form, a new hair care line for women of colour.

Walker, who was born and raised in Queens, New York, was fuelled by the dedication of his mother, who raised three children on her own by working three jobs.

Before the acquisition by P&G, he had raised about $39 million in funding and had even won over celebrity investors such as Magic Johnson, John Legend and Nas, according to the CNN. 

Now with the new home at P&G, he wants to keep on with his mission of making his business global.

“Procter & Gamble wanted us to be in a position of autonomy, where we could maintain the agility and flexibility that we have always had to reach this consumer. I care very deeply about this company that we spent blood, sweat and tears on. I feel very comfortable and excited about this partnership. Everybody should get ready for what’s next,” he said

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